Saturday, January 28, 2012

Catching up

It’s Saturday night and I am in flight.... on the way back to Nevada, if only for a day. Then it is off to Vegas for the gift show with the girls. The last three weeks have been filled with family and fun. I had the absolute best intentions of blogging more during this time, but somehow when you have a four year old appear just as you are pouring your first cup of coffee of the day and say to you “Well good morning Nana, how are you today….I had a great sleep..did you?” with a giant smile and a hug to accompany it…...or a beautiful sunny day just made for long walks and tree climbing with the two grandsons......well..you get the picture...... blogging takes a back seat.  
Catching up ~
Robert’s mom, Sharon, lives in Brunswick which is just a short hour drive north from where the kids live in Jacksonville. When the kids where transferred from Maine to Florida it was a great bonus for us as we are now able to see our family much more also. The trip up to see her the first week I was in Florida was with a heavy heart as it was the first time I have been back to the house on the marsh since Bob’s Dad passed away in December. I knew that it was going to be hard, to see his things in the hallway and his hat on the stand by the door. His gardening tools waiting for him out back when I took the dog out for a walk, and his favorite chair empty. Sharon has been my second mom for 38 years, and because Robert and I married very young, she pretty much helped raise me up in a lot of ways. She gave me cooking lessons, encouraged me to use my writing skills and helped me plant my first rose bed in Florida. She is a strong woman -  an artist, a published author, a beautifully trained vocalist....... and the women that took care of her dying husband for the last 18 months. I have never been to the house when “Big Bob” wasn’t puttering around fixing something or showing me a new gadget or antique he had acquired…and I miss him. He loved to talk business with me and was never short of words to tell me “just the straight facts." I miss him. A lot.
This trip we accomplished a few things she was needing help with. We got some rooms rearranged, some paperwork done and with the help of my friend Melissa, the pond cleaned out and pruned up. The house isn't the same, it never will be ~ but she is making a new life for herself and I hope that I can be back on the marsh with her again real soon.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

1 Day at the beach

View from our front porch.....Daytona
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Disney Horticulture

Highlight of our trip #4
These people know how to do it right. Of course the parks are clean, filled with beautiful flowers and exciting things to do, it is after all DISNEY ~ but for two horticulturists from the high deserts of the west ~ one of the highlights of our day at Epcot was the horticulture tour. A lot of the herbs and vegetables grown in the greenhouses are used in a Disney restaurant and there are no worries over pesticides on the produce because they don't use any. They utilize what is known as Integrated Pest Management,(IPA) which means that they release "good" insects into their gardens to control "bad" insect populations. For a large area of their greenhouse, The Land as they call the experimental area, uses a system called Aquaponics - a cross between Aquaculture and Hydroponics. This form of dual-farming is becoming increasingly popular on a smaller scale as well, including a few that I know of in the Fallon area!  In this system, a pond filled with certain beneficial fish (in Fallon most are using Tilapia) is used as a reservoir, and the water from that pond, containing vital nutrients that are by-products from the fish, is filtered and used to water the plants. This symbiotic relationship could be the key to more successful hydroponics in the future. Another innovation they are using is called sand-culture. By using sub-surface irrigation, they have been able to grow a variety of products, from cotton to giant citrus fruits, in desert sand. Think what we could do with that in our valley.Take a look at some of what they are up to......we were absolutely fascinated!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Release

Cash is anxiously awaiting for
 Daddy to get off the plane
at NAS Jax
Release; The Art of Letting Go

As some of you may know, I have been in Florida while the major transformation has been taking place at The Flower Tree. Before I left we spent the first week of 2012 moving everything out of the gift shop, packing up the small amount that was left after the holiday sale, removing everything off the walls and getting ready. Ready for ReNewal, ready for ReCharge and ready for ReViving the area. We haven't done any major remodeling to the shop for the last few years and it was in dire need of a makeover. After we picked out all the paint colors (by painting numerous different colors all over the walls) and chose the wood to use for some projects - I boarded a jet plane and took off for points east. January and July are usually very slow months in Garden Center World, and it allows me the opportunity to take some much needed Recharge time of my own. The grandsons are now 4 ½ and 1 and the changes that take place between each visit are turning pretty major. We have ridden our bikes, walked the trails, cuddled and snuggled until this Nana is finally starting to relax.  My son-in-law, Travis, returned from Bahrain last night where he has been deployed for the last two months. He missed the holidays and so today is their Christmas in Jacksonville. The tree is still up and the presents are to be opened and while we certainly will be celebrating the season, we are celebrating his return so much more.

The title of this post is what I have also  been working hard on this last two weeks since I arrived here in Florida. It is …Release….
Those that know me well also know that I like to have my hands in things around the nursery. It has pretty much consumed me these last eleven years, I think in a good way, but consumed never the less. To have a project ongoing at home, a project this large that is taking place without me has been a tough one. When I got on the plane to fly east I had my note pad out making notes, I was working on the website, I was busy flipping through the catalog for the trade show I will be attending this coming weekend…….and then I landed in NanaWorld…..and all of a sudden the decisions of back home took a backseat. It wasn’t because I didn’t care, and it certainly wasn’t because I didn’t want to be involved….here comes the big part…it was BECAUSE I AM SURROUNDED BY MIRACLE WORKERS.  Every one of the beautiful spirits involved with making this transition take place has been in my thoughts daily. I KNOW HOW MUCH WORK it takes to achieve the look and feel of what we envisioned. I cannot say enough, THANK YOU! But I will keep trying, every day I walk in, even if they aren’t there and only Harriet is there to greet me, I will be saying thank you, thank you, thank you!

and yes,  just in case you are wondering........I am releasing..................

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The BIG project - ReNew~ReCharge~ReVive

I wish I could show you some pictures...
I wish I could view it myself....
But...the project is ongoing without me while I am in Florida snuggling with the grand kids.

Before I left we pretty much gutted the gift shop at the nursery. It has been 11 years now since we opened the Creative Garden, and it was in serious need of a make over. The party started with me there in full swing, the music going, the liquids flowing (coffee), everyone laughing and talking all at the same time throwing out ideas and suggestions.

Over the course of a few days, the walls were emptied, the cabinets moved out, holes patched and hooks taken out of the roof, product donated to our local thrift store that we no longer were going to carry, decorations for the winter season packed up and put away, walls washed down........and then.......I GOT ON A JET PLANE AND HEADED EAST.

So just like you, I will be TOTALLY SURPRISED, and amazed when I get back to Fallon. The creative souls I am surrounded with have been incredibly busy. Throw in some amazingly talented friends that assisted them and you get the picture, a huge change IN STORE.

Friday, January 20th,
THE BIG UNVEIL!
 Don't miss it!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Where in the world is Susan...


Morning walks......

and

birthday cake (Sara's 31st)


makes me 1 Happy Nana

ps, I'm in Florida :}

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a New Year

I watched the fireworks at the fairgrounds last night from the comfort and warmth of my sitting room. As each "boom" lit up the sky I reminisced about the past year, and thought about the coming one. I think that every year I think of the new year as just that ...a new beginning. A chance to take this one day and reflect on where my life is going and what I intend to do with the next few months as we progress into the new one. I have a lot to be thankful for, as evidenced by my health and almost complete use of my left shoulder (those new to these posts will note that I had rotor cuff surgery last Spring). More important I am thankful to be surrounded by the most positive, hard working, incredibly talented group of women probably EVER grouped together in one small garden. This year as we walk down this path together ~ once again I hope that I can be even half of supportive of them, as they are of me.

The holidays are behind me, and the seed catalogs and garden magazines that stacked up by the chair in November & December are back in my lap. The absolutely beautiful Christmas tree we had this year is stripped of its ornaments and lays outside in preparation of becoming a winter bird habitat and quiet has once again descended on our house.  The black eyed peas are simmering on the stove, the dirty rice done and the cornbread ready to go in the oven .....it's dinner time Southern Style.

The days ahead will bring much activity at the nursery, but most of you won't be able to see it for a couple more weeks. We are in the very important task of ReCharging ~ ReViving ~ ReNew'ing both the gift shop and OURSELVES.  We have some small and big Gift Shows to attend, and I will be heading out to Florida in a few for some HUGE hugs with the kids.

What more can you ask for on the first day of the year.....temperatures were cold, but the sun was shining, there was no wind ~allowing the perfect opportunity for a long walk and a chance to do a little watering. As I raised my face to the sun, just as the flowers have always showed us to do, I gave thanks, for my life, my husband, my family and my friends. Happy New Year to one and all!

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